e& introduces autistic-friendly mobile extension e& wider web, powered by AI
Posted on 2024 Apr,01

In advance of World Autism Day tomorrow (2 April 2024), e&, a global leader in technology, has launched a new web extension specifically for individuals with autism that simplifies the browsing experience, making technology and the web more inclusive and accessible to all.  

e&, the global tech company, continues its mission to enhance inclusivity and accessibility with the launch of the mobile version of its Wider Web Extension designed specifically for autistic individuals. This one-of-a-kind AI-led tool brings autistic-friendly web browsing to smartphones, ensuring access anytime, anywhere.

Autism is a neurodivergence that affects 1% of the world’s population. The web is a vital tool for people on the autism spectrum, in terms of e-learning, social communication, and entertainment. However, the current web interface design can present sensory and processing challenges for autistic users. 

Recognising this challenge, e& embarked on a journey three years ago, to develop the e& Wider Web Extension for desktop web browsers.

The development of the desktop version was collaborative; informed by people on the autism spectrum, their families, autism researchers, and autism support workers. This extension has since revolutionised accessibility, empowering autistic individuals to navigate the internet with more personalised support.

This is evidenced by a new research study led by Dr. Shereen Sharaan at the University of Birmingham Dubai, in collaboration with Emirates College for Advanced Education and UAE Special Olympics. A significant research finding is that ‘Wider Web’ made the web “a better place” for autistic users.

Demonstrating e&’s dedication to continuous improvement and collaboration, e& decided to expand the Wider Web project further by ensuring its availability on mobile devices since there is more than a 96% smartphone penetration rate in the UAE.

The mobile extension, featuring a new AI capability, incorporates cutting-edge technology to summarize bulk paragraphs into shorter, simpler texts. This advancement ensures a user-friendly platform accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

e& invites individuals, organisations, and stakeholders to join them in their pledge to make the web more accessible to everyone, driven by the belief that technology is of no use if it’s not accessible to all.

Through the power of AI technology, they aim to expand the reach of the e& Wider Web Extension, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital age so that all individuals, including those with autism can navigate the online world with ease and confidence.

The initiative was done in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi ME.

Commenting on the partnership, Samer El Khansa, Business Lead for Saatchi & Saatchi ME said, “Through creativity and innovation, our collaboration with e& exemplifies our commitment to inclusivity. Together, we've harnessed the power of storytelling to ensure every individual, regardless of ability, can engage fully in the digital realm."